Welcome to the blog tour for BUNDLE OF LOVE, the seventh book in the adult contemporary western romance series, Long Valley by USA Today bestselling author, Erin Wright. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
About the Book
Title: BUNDLE OF LOVE
Series:Long Valley #7
Author: Erin Wright
Release Date: June 1, 2018
Genre: Adult Contemporary Western Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay | Smashwords
Dr. Adam Whitaker, vet extraordinaire, has spent the last nine years helplessly in love with Chloe, and deserves his own happily ever after. Except, what if the love of his life comes with one condition…a baby?
Bundle of Love is the seventh novel in the Long Valley series, although all books in the Long Valley world can be read as standalones. It has some strong language, and oh my, sexy times. Enjoy!
Her eyes were darting around, searching for a bucket or pail or some sort of catching-milk-from-a-cow’s-teat device, when she heard the crunch of gravel under tires and then a diesel engine shutting off. She hurried out through the main barn doors to find Adam swinging down from his truck.
“I realized I forgot a couple of important pieces of information,” he called out as he loped over to her with that easy gait of his. Her eyes followed his body with an eagerness that she wasn’t willing to put a name to just yet.
“Ummm…like how to milk a cow?” she said, laughing easily, as if just being in the same vicinity as Adam Whitaker wasn’t the most torturously amazing thing she’d ever lived through.
“Yeah, like that.” He grinned down at her when he reached her side. “I see you at least got the animals inside.”
“That part wasn’t too hard,” Kylie said with a shrug. “I just opened up the door over there and they practically ran me over to get into the barn.”
“They’ve been doing this for a while, so they’re pretty used to the routine by now. The chickens are the easiest – they like to roost at night, so as soon as the sun sets, they want to go inside where they can get up onto their perches. So, did you find the milk buckets yet?”
She shook her head. “All I found so far was the milking stool.”
“C’mon, I’ll show you where the milk fridge is at.” He led her into a side room with a fridge and some metal buckets stacked on the counter. He rinsed them out quickly in the shop sink, explaining that he did a thorough cleaning job after milking but always rinsed them before milking again just in case dirt or dust got into them, and then they headed back out into the main part of the barn.
As Adam set up the stool and the buckets, showing how to lean against the cow while milking, how to pull down on the teats, how to direct the milk into the bucket, Kylie couldn’t help but stare at him. She shouldn’t, of course, absolutely positively shouldn’t, and yet, it was hard not to. The way his shirt stretched over his broad shoulders, the way his strong hands flew over everything like magic…it was like watching a milking maestro at work.
“You ready to give it a shot?” he asked, looking up at her. She swallowed hard but nodded. Adam knelt next to her, wrapping his arms around her and moving her fingers into place around the warm, soft teats. “Okay, start at the top and pull down,” he said, his deep voice in her ear, sending shivers down her spine. She tried to pay attention to what she was supposed to be doing, she really did, but the world’s sexiest teacher was in her ear, his arms wrapped around her while he gave milking lessons…
She couldn’t really be faulted for not being able to pay attention, right?
They finally stumbled their way through poor Skunk, who looked back occasionally to see who was yanking on her teats with such enthusiasm, but she didn’t otherwise seem too perturbed. Kylie was grateful for the old girl’s patience, because 30 minutes of milking a cow did not an expert make.
They’d moved over to Dumbass and had gotten to work on her when Kylie’s hands began cramping from the strain. “I can’t believe how hard this is,” she said with a small laugh, massaging her hands. “How come you don’t have a milking machine?”
Adam moved into place, letting Kylie sit off to the side for a minute to give her hands a rest. He began rhythmically pulling on the teats, never missing a beat, never causing Dumbass to bleat out in pain or surprise, each stream of milk aimed perfectly into the bucket.
Kylie was pretty sure she’d never be this good, even if she milked for the next 20 years.
“It isn’t worth it for two animals,” he said with a shrug, his hands continuing to move rhythmically even as he chatted with her. “That kind of setup can be thousands of dollars. It just isn’t worth the money for one cow and one goat. You need a whole herd to make the numbers work, and I’m not interested in being a dairyman.”
“So why do you have these guys?” Kylie asked, stroking Dumbass’ side as they talked. The ol’ girl definitely had what could only be described as “goat aroma,” but Kylie found she didn’t mind. It was earthy and real and so authentic compared to games on her cell phone or chatting with friends via texts.
There was a visceral pleasure to being around animals that she hadn’t realized she’d been missing all her life. Her friends back in Bend would think she’d gone around the bend, but Kylie didn’t care. There was something tactile and pleasurable and so real about this.
“That’s a good question,” Adam answered with a rueful grin. “Both of them were surprises. I had patients who couldn’t afford my vet bill, and somehow, I got these guys as payments instead of cold, hard cash. I’d originally thought I’d sell them or butcher them or something, but they started to grow on me, even Dumbass here, and pretty soon, I didn’t want to think about getting rid of them. But the next time someone offers to trade an animal or two for services rendered, I need to remember what a massive pain in the ass it is to take care of those animals.” He shot her a grin. “I am a veterinarian through and through. It’s hard for me to turn down any animal, no matter the circumstances.”
She chuckled even as her heart twisted a little inside. She wondered for a moment if Adam saw her as another stray animal; someone to feed and house and take care of, even though it shouldn’t be his job. Did he ever do something just because he wanted to, not because he felt obligated to do it? Here he was, taking care of his crippled mother, and animals he hadn’t even intended to get, and running a therapy camp for kids with special needs, and practically adopting a girl on the cusp of adulthood who was stumbling around, lost and clueless, no real idea of how to move forward.
Except she didn’t look at him as a guardian and a father figure. No, she definitely wouldn’t classify her feelings like that. But maybe this was all one-sided and he felt nothing towards her. Maybe—
His hand cupped underneath her chin, pulling it up to meet his gaze. “What are you thinking about?” he asked softly, his fingers running over her chin. She trembled a little – whether from the cold of sitting on the concrete floor or from the nearness of Adam, she couldn’t begin to guess.
“You…why are you helping me out so much?” she whispered. Her face flushed hot under his gaze. She hated bringing this topic up again, but dammit all, he’d asked. She couldn’t lie to Adam and tell him she’d been thinking about daisies and sunsets and how beautiful the Goldfork Mountains were.
Because as much as she loved daisies and sunsets and the Goldfork Mountains, she also felt like a loser. She was struggling not to be a mooch off her mother, but she’d somehow turned into a mooch off her boss instead.
It was embarrassing enough to be a mooch off her mother, but she was at least, well, her mother. Being a mooch off a total stranger was much, much worse. Especially a total stranger who she was falling head over heels in love with, and yet he probably didn’t see her that way at all.
She’d never been one to pine over an unattainable guy but there was always a first time for everything…
He shook his head slowly. “You really don’t realize how much of a help you are to me, do you?” he murmured. “Remind me to tell you a story about business cards sometime. And pretty pink jeweled collars.” She stared at him in confusion. He gave her a sexy-as-hell grin that threatened to set her panties on fire. “Never mind that,” he said with a small laugh. “The point is, I think I need you just as much as you need me. I was just thinking this morning that it’d only been a few weeks since I brought you onboard, and already, I don’t know how I’d live without you. Trying to balance the whole world on my shoulders is exhausting, and you’ve helped me just a little with that balancing act. That means more to me than anything.”
She nodded. She believed him…mostly.
But more than that, her stomach was just a ball of nerves and butterflies and shooting sparks as his eyes dropped down to her lips and then back up, locking in on her with an invisible bond that felt unbreakable in that moment. She couldn’t breathe or blink or look away and then he was coming closer, ever so slowly closer, giving her every chance to back off, to scramble to her feet and announce that she needed to go inside right then but she didn’t move an eyelash because she didn’t want to go inside.
She wanted to kiss Adam Whitaker and as her heart almost beat out of her chest, she realized that for once, she was going to do exactly what she wanted to do, consequences be damned.
Finally, his lips closed over hers, soft and demanding and needy and she leaned forward, pouring her soul into the kiss. Her blood was thundering in her ears as his lips molded to hers and then his tongue swept out, seeking the boundaries of her lips, prodding to find its way inside and she opened up with a moan, her whole body wanting to meld together with his.
Breathing and eating and thinking all seemed so complicated and unnecessary in that moment. All she wanted to do was to melt into Adam and to never let go.
Dumbass let out a bleat, turning her head and knocking Kylie over and into Adam’s side with a powerful jerk of her head. Adam caught her and they laughed for a moment, a quiet breathless moment filled with promise, and then it was broken, disappearing into the ether as if it had never existed.
“I better get on my way,” Adam said, scrambling to his feet and offering his hand to Kylie to help her up. “Tomorrow, I need to look over your car and…and lots of other important stuff, so I should get to bed early.”
And then he was gone, jumping into his truck and pulling away with the deep growl of the diesel engine, leaving a breathless and flushed and scattered Kylie in his wake. She stared after him, her fingertips resting lightly on her lips where Adam had kissed her, wondering if he regretted kissing her.
Knowing that she should regret it.
Knowing that she never would.
Even if she never got to kiss Dr. Adam Whitaker again, tonight’s kiss would warm her at night. She could lay in bed and remember it, reliving every moment of it.
And never, ever regret it.
About the Author
Erin Wright has worked every job under the sun, including library director, barista, teacher, website designer, and ranch hand helping brand cattle, before settling into the career she’s always dreamed about: Author.
She still loves coffee, doesn’t love the smell of cow flesh burning, and is quite happily ensconced with her handsome hubby in a small, charming town in rural Idaho. On her site, http://erinwright.net, you can sign up for her newsletter, along with finding the requisite pictures of Jasmine, her kitty cat muse and snuggle buddy extraordinaire..
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